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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 27, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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green's "let's stay together" or we'll all be back at the apollo after november singing the blues. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. newt fails to shine in the sunshine state. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in florida. i'm leading off tonight with trading places. if newt gingrich loses the republican nomination, we're going to look back at last night's debate as the reason why. mitt romney, not gingrich, was the aggressor from the start, sparring and punching and looking more like newt than newt himself. mitt floored newt with this one. >> mr. speaker, i know that sounds like an enormous revelation, but have you checked your own investments? you also have investments
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through mutual funds that also invest in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> right. >> have you checked own investments? what a line. newt had no answer. mitt's performance makes him the favorite to win florida next tuesday. for now, the favorite to win the nomination. but it wasn't all good news for romney. he seems to have trouble with telling the truth. basic stuff like when he said all his investments are held by a blind trust. not necessarily. or when he defended his vote for paul tsongas with this forever-changing answer he gave. tonight, mitt romney meets the truth squad. you have doubt? newt gingrich made this absurd claim about president obama last night. >> if you're for european socialism, you're with barack obama. >> saul alinsky radicalism. to republicans who spew that kind of stuff have a clue who the guy was? do the voters? we've got the file on alinsky
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tonight. a man whose message has been admired by conservative icon william f. buckley, dick armey and, guess who. mitt romney's own dad. plus, the more newt and mitt duke it out. he has a new spring in his step. one reason why is the fight we're all watching on the right. and newt gets an endorsement he can do without from prison from as we say, inside. and that's in the side show tonight. we begin with mitt romney's strong debate performance on cnn. howard fineman is a political analyst. and susan page is the washington bureau chief. howard, let's look at the polls out today that show the race in florida turning strongly for romney. take a look. both the latest sunshine state poll have romney ahead by 9%. one at 40%, the other at 38%. your sense of why newt is losing
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and mitt is winning? >> well, mitt romney came last night to do what he had to do. he was the new combat-ready mitt romney. and he gave newt gingrich's tactics right back at him. mitt romney was well prepared with attack lines and defense lines. he was in newt's space the whole time. it had the feel of a bully being confronted by a guy who was ready for it. but other things happened before that. newt gingrich saying he'd have sarah palin in his administration. scared the establishment types. marco rubio attacking newt gingrich for an ad he had on. newt gingrich talking about colonizing the moon, and romney had a great line ready for that saying if anybody in his administration had come to him with an idea like colonizing the moon, he would be fired. that got as big an applause as the other line you showed. >> one you mentioned, his worst moment from last night's debate.
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gingrich was asked by wolf blitzer about a spanish-language radio ad his campaign made and it's since been taken off the air. it calls mitt romney anti-immigrant. well mitt romney seized the opportunity to go after gingrich. let's watch it. >> is he still the most anti-immigrant candidate? >> of the four of us? yes. >> my father was born in mexico. my wife's father was born in wales. they came to this country. the idea i'm anti-immigrant is repulsive. don't use a term like that. i think you should apologize for it. and recognize having differences of opinions on issues does not justify labeling people with highly charged epithets. >> susan page, even when he gets mad and angry, he uses terms like that, highly charged epithets. that's a gentleman's way of saying you're lying about me, i guess. what do you make of that? he came formally but very in control of the other guy? like a bullfighter.
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he's learned how to play the bull. >> and to show a little emotion. you know, one of the raps on mitt romney has been that he doesn't reveal very much of himself. he's kind of a stiff guy. but that wasn't the case in that answer. luckily for mitt romney, that was the first question out of the box last night on immigration. he was able to turn to this attack on newt gingrich that i'm sure had been planned. had been rehearsed. but it came off as strong. newt gingrich, who ought have expected an exchange like that did not seem prepared to come back at him. >> i've said a lot over the years, i think the greatest debate tactic or tact nick politics is the attack from a defensive position. people tend to root for people who are defending their reputations. in past debates, of course, newt gingrich was always able to score points by going after the media. last night, he had wolf blitzer to tagle with and he lost. blitzer asked newt if he was satisfied with the transparency
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-- that's the word wolf used -- about mitt romney's tax returns which have been given out now for those two years which the governor released earlier this week. let's watch this back and forth which had become a losing battle for the media. here's wolf standing up for his craft against a guy who is trying to bully him. >> this is a nonsense question. how about if the four of us agree for the rest of the evening, we'll actually talk about things that relate to governing america. >> mr. speaker -- you made an issue of this when you said he lives in a world of swiss bank and cayman island bank accounts. i didn't say that, you did. >> i did. i'm perfectly happy to say on an interview. this is a national debate to get the four of us. >> if you make a serious accusation against governor romney, you need to explain that. >> you want to try again? >> wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else that they weren't willing to defend here?
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>> okay. all right. >> boy. >> ka boom. that there was the important thing that not only wolf blitzer stood his ground, and i think correctly so, even though we knew boos were going to come. but mitt romney well, schooled and well prepare forward this debate essentially sided with wolf blitzer and at the same time called newt gingrich out as a bully saying, if you're going to say that off the air -- off the stage, i want you to say it to my face. and that showed me just how well prepared and determined mitt romney was in this debate. >> chilling stuff. great battle motion there and battle action there. by the way, susan, you are a real pro as a journalist. george will once told me, the great columnist, as a columnist and opinion writer, writing about sports or anything, you have to be willing to walk through the locker room after
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you've written a tough column on the team. that's part of the job. wolf walked through the lion's den last night. >> he did. one other thing working in mitt romney's favor is some of the audience was with him. one thing that's given newt gingrich a lot of energy, especially in the big south carolina debate, a week ago monday that helped him so much, was that the crowd was with him and that boosted newt gingrich and made it -- changed the dynamic of that debate. in the debate last night, the crowd wasn't entirely with mitt romney, but some of it was. and that helped. >> to the point -- go ahead, chris. >> what about the charge made by newt since the debate last night that the audience was stacked in favor of establishment politicians by the state party? >> yes. i wrote about that last night. it was the -- in this case, the partner was the republican party of the state. pretty establishment group in florida. what's good for the goose was
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good for the gander here. newt was insisting there be an audience. he said i want an audience. what do you think the romney crowd was going to try to do? so newt went from being a triumphant character to a cry baby. he suffered from the same tactics that newt benefited from before. >> he didn't expect the amen chorus would be from the high church. here was another heated moment between romney and gingrich after the topic turned to gingrich's role at freddie mac. gingrich tried to land a blow against romney. but romney turned it around. let's watch. >> we began digging in after monday night because i had enough of this. we discovered to our shock that governor romney owns shares of fannie mae and freddie mac. governor romney made a million dollars off of selling some of that. >> first of all, my investments are not made by me. my investments for the last ten
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years have been by a blind trust managed by a trustee. there are bonds that they have held through mutual funds. and mr. speaker, i know that sounds like an enormous revolution, but have you checked your own investments? you also have investments in your mutual funds that invest in fannie and freddie mac. >> right. >> susan, that was one of the great, i assume, a lot of this stuff is set up ahead of time. but what a resounding punch that was to the jaw. >> it showed how well prepared mitt romney was in terms of opposition research and how newt gingrich was not prepared. even with opposition research, his own campaign had done because as soon as that line came out of mitt romney's mouth, we were getting e-mails from the gingrich campaign pointing out that during the 1994 senate race in massachusetts, mitt romney derided the idea that a blind trust derided you of the
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responsibility for the trustee. that was a point newt gingrich could have made in response to the attack from mitt romney, but he didn't. >> i think he was tired. he was just tired. here's romney's worst moment of the night. it didn't come at the hands of gingrich, but at rick santorum. though third man in this fight. let's watch a real ideological attack here from santorum. >> what governor romney just said is that government run top down medicine is working well in massachusetts and he supports it. now think about what that means going up against barack obama, who you're going to claim top down government run medicine at the federal level doesn't work and he should repeal it. wait a minute. you just said top down government medicine works well. >> if someone doesn't have insurance, then we have to care for them in the hospital. give them free care. no more free riders. we're insisting on personal responsibility. either get the insurance or help pay for your care. >> does everybody in massachusetts have a requirement
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to buy health care? >> everyone has a requirement to either by health care or pay the state for the cost of providing them free care. >> boy, that is -- i think in a perfect world susan page and howard, the president of the united states -- president obama -- would hire mute gingrich -- i'm sorry, mitt romney to explain his health care plan. that's a perfect rendition or explanation of what obama has tried to do with health care. get everybody to take personal responsibility so they don't end up as free loaders on somebody else's health care plan. >> rick santorum has been good in the debates from the start. early debates he didn't get much time to speak. when there was a big crowd. now that it's down to four people, he gets more time. he doesn't have the money to run the kind of ads or organization in florida that's going to make him very competitive there, but he looked good last night which indicated maybe he's going to stay in the race. every vote rick santorum gets is a vote from newt gingrich. i mean i think it's helpful for mitt romney for santorum to be
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doing well. >> i agree with susan. i scored the bout. on his own terms, i gave it to rick santorum. rick santorum did a tremendous amount for himself last night. as susan says, it may not matter in the end, but i thought he was excellent. if he was trying out for the role of vice presidential candidate and attack dog designate ithought he did a very good job. >> that's another way of trying out. i've been thinking he's been going for that job for a couple of weeks now. i agree with your thinking. it looks like this is a battle of two guys against one right now. santorum running for vp because every vote he grabs is probably a newt gingrich wannabe vote. there's going to be a lot more of this between now and tuesday. howard fineman and susan page, we're looking forward to the florida fight down here tuesday night. coming up, it wasn't all good for mitt romney. he had a problem with stretching the truth, finding the truth, telling the truth. we'll get to that when we return. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. i find the omega choices overwhelming.
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and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth. if the presidential election comes down to florida, mitt romney is in far better shape to beat president obama than newt gingrich is. let's check the scoreboard. according to a new poll, romney runs even with president obama in florida now. 45%/45%. while gingrich trails badly. the president's lead over newt is 11%. look at these numbers from the new york poll just out. romney leads the president in florida by 5%. 47%/42%. while gingrich loses to obama by 9%. it looks like if romney gets on the ballot as president, look out down here president obama.
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welcome back to "hardball." it may have been a good debate
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overall for mitt romney last night, but he had a few missteps like stretching the truth a bit, which may come back to haunt this guy. joining me to talk about that in what we're calling "romney's fibs" is david corn, who is also the washington bureau chief of mother jones." and susan milligan, a contributing editor at "u.s. news and world report." we're saying it nicely because lie is a terrible word. let's look at what happens when newt gingrich called mitt romney out for voting for democrat paul tsongas in '92 in the massachusetts presidential primary. >> in '92 he was donating to democrats for congress. and voted for paul tsongas in the democratic primary. >> i've never voted for a democrat when there was a republican on the ballot. and in my state of massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in which either primary happens to be very interesting. any chance i got to vote against bill clinton or ted kennedy, i took. so i am -- i have voted -- i
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have always voted for republican any time there was a republican on the ballot. >> let's go to david corn. the number of excuses he's given for voting for tsongas have varied dramatically. he voted for him because he's a more moderate democrat than clinton. but the idea he's now saying he voted for him to screw the democrats in a complicated voting, even though he was claiming to be an independent doesn't pass the smell test. your thoughts, david. >> remember in 1992, this was not when bill clinton was president. this was a primary and bill clinton was seen also as being of the dlc. the conservative wing. he was a southern governor of the democratic party. it wasn't like mitt was rushing to the barricades to stop liberalism from grabbing the throat of washington, d.c. so you're right. it doesn't add up. you have to say, newt gingrich accusing mitt romney of being a
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liar or a fibber is a little bit like donald trump calling someone self-absorbed. it's kind of a fair fight you have to say in this regard on the debate last night. >> susan, you're up there. your ear is to the glove. you know this guy. i think he was a moderate democrat, or moderate republican. he was trying to deny what he was. he was never a right winger. he was somewhere in the middle. you and i know, tsongas was for things like entitlement reform. going after the excesses of social security when it's paying away too much money. he was trying to fix the system. why doesn't he brag for once about who he was? a moderate thoughtful voter trying to do something intelligent for tsongas and now runs away from it. >> throughout the campaign, he's run away from his moderate past. one of the more charitable explanations is this is someone who comes from the business world. he's used to accommodating the product for the consumer. maybe he's accommodating
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himself, the product, for the consumer. but he's been trying to do this for the entire campaign. i don't know why he didn't say tsongas was the home state guy. i was just standing up for him. but certainly in the general election, i voted for the republican. i don't know why he didn't just say that and be done with it. this reinforces his greatest weakness here. i think the missteps, which would mean nothing for someone else, are more potent because they reinforce people's deepest concern about governor romney. >> i don't get why you don't occasionally admit you do something. another moment last night. he denied having knowledge about running this spanish radio ad where he distorts a quote from newt gingrich. why does he deny everything? here it is. >> you have had an ad running saying that speaker gingrich called spanish "the language of the ghetto." what do you mean by that? >> i haven't seen the ad. so i'm sorry i don't get to see all the tv ads.
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did he say that? >> did you say that? >> i doubt that's my ad, but i will take a look and find out. >> i didn't see the ad. i doubt that was my ad. there he is talking away. here he is in the ad. the ad in spanish with translation. pay close attention to the tag line at the end. [ speaking in spanish ] >> susan, i recognize that voice. >> the accent needs some work. >> how many takes did they have to get that line at the end of the ad? >> let's not get distracted by his quality of his other language. his french is better. you're allowed to speak spanish,
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but not french. what about this denying he never saw the ad? if he went to the trouble of saying it in spanish, we should assume he remembers the ad in spanish. >> chris, that's an oops moment that i think worthy of being in a rick perry support group. it just really -- it's so much worse than not being able to remember the third agency you want to eliminate. how could he possibly get up there and say was that my ad? i didn't see that ad when he clearly -- he must have spent some time working on the spanish or having someone work with him on the spanish for that. >> maybe they got a voice impersonator. this is not the first time he's done this. remember during the iowa campaign, he was accused of the superpac ads. he said i've never seen those ads and then described what was right about them. my theory is he thinks he's a stand-up guy. he does everything right. he was raised well. he's a gentleman.
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when his campaign does this stuff, he creates a psychological distance between himself and what is going on in his name. so his first impulse is i could not have done that. oh, maybe i did. >> it doesn't seem like me. >> here again is mitt romney last night in what was a good overall performance to response here in gingrich. but listen closely to his answer. once again, he steps into the weeds of dishonesty. >> governor romney owns shares of fannie mae and freddie mac. governor romney made a million dollars off of selling some of that. >> my investments are not made by me. my investments for the past ten years have been in a blind trust managed by a trustee. >> first, a lot of voters may have trouble sympathizing with anyone so wealthy as to have a blind trust. and the associated press fact checker came up with this. romney's statement, and they found this, quote, not all of his investments have been in a blind trust. romney's personal financial disclosure forms show he owned
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between 250,000 and $500,000 in a federated government obligation fund which contained mutual fund notes of politically sensitive freddie mac and fannie mae. an addendum to romney's disclosure forms say certain assets, including that federated fund were outside the scope of his blind trust. so there you have it, david, where it's clear he did have investments in freddie mac and fannie mae. and they were not in a blind trust. they were open to his involvement and knowledge. >> chris, this is the big issue. it's kind of puzzling. because he's had many years to think about this. mitt romney and his campaign can't figure out how he should talk about his own wealth. whether it's his taxes. or holdings. he should just get up and say, i have done well. i have a gazillion dollars. i don't even know how many. i have people who manage these funds for me. some are in a blind trust. some are not. i don't know what goes on. if you are telling me there's
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freddie mac money in there iwill tell them to get rid of it because i don't want it anymore. that's how he should handle this. but every time we get to this issue, he muffs it. it's kind of perplexing. >> last word, susan. why can't he talk about his money? >> because he's setting himself up to be the poster child for the 1% in a general election. that's why. >> he's doing a good job. thank you. up next -- newt gingrich picks up the jailhouse endorsement of duke cunningham. i guess you get endorsements where you can get them. that's probably not one he's hoping to get. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. so uh this is my friend frank and his, uh, retirement plan.
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celebration. it's ex-congressman duke cunningham, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for his involvement in a federal bribery case. being inside hasn't kept cunningham from keeping up with the debates. he's now reaching out to newt. "newt, a voice out of the past. down but not out and still fighting. first i do not want anything from you but have been watching the debates. i have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. they might not be able to but their extended families will." of all the former colleagues, this endorsement takes the cake. i personally don't hold a grudge against anyone who is paying his debt to society. next up, amateur hour. at last night's debate one subject was a moment of comic relief than nasty back and forth. the topic? newt's promise to voters that by the end of his second term in the white house, there will be an american colony on the moon. let's hear what two of his
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rivals had to say about the plan last night. >> i spent 25 years in business. if i had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, i'd say you're fired. >> i don't think we should go to the moon. i think maybe we should send some politicians up there at times. >> by now, you think romney would be steering clear of the words "you're fired." i guess the lunar colony talk brought him back to the dark side. and now for a fact check. jan brewer drew scrutiny for the intense encounter with president obama when he arrived in arizona. republican congressman trent franks came on "hardball" and had this to say about brewer's record and popularity in her home state. >> she came in the same time barack obama did. the state in arizona was among the worst hit with the housing crisis. we were 47th in job creation. she balanced the budget and is universally loved in arizona. >> really? universally loved?
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where does brewer's approval rating stand in arizona really? in this november's ppp poll, 49% disapreerd of brewer's performance. 42% approved. so to quote the song, when it comes to the arizona governor, love is not all around her. remember when president obama went musical at new york city's apollo theater last week? ♪ i, so in love with you >> thanks to the president, that al green hit is making a comeback. how much did weekly sales of the hit surge? 490%. talk about a sales bump. as for the president singing, al green said he nailed it. a 490% increase in sales. of "let's stay together." and that's tonight's big number. up next, newt gingrich loves
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to call president obama a saul alinsky radical. but who was saul alinsky and do the republicans who lap this stuff up even know what they're talking about? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. laces? really? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪ [ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in. when the doctor told me that i could smoke
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i'm milissa rehberger. gop presidential hopeful rick santorum is taking a break from the trail. the candidate would preforespend saturday doing his taxes than campaigning in florida. he's strapped for cash and trailing far behind newt gingrich and mitt romney in the sunshine state. it was a terrifying scene in
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cincinnati when a floor collapsed sending construction workers sliding to the ground below. happened at the safety casino under development. at least a dozen workers were injured. the man known as the barefoot bandit was sentenced today by a federal judge to 6 1/2 years in prison. his federal sentence will be served concurrently with state prison time. he achieved international fame for a daring series of thefts that ended with his capture in 2010. and costa cruise lines has offered uninjured passengers more than $14,000 each. the compensation would account for lost baggage and psychological trauma. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." in the past week alone, if you listened to newt gingrich, you heard the name of one man repeated again and again -- saul alinsky.
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>> the debate we're going to with president obama over the next eight or nine months, the outlining of the two americas, the america of the declaration of independence and the america of saul alinsky. >> to clearly take barack obama on -- at every level. take him on values where he is a saul alinsky radical. but the centerpiece of this campaign, i believe, is american exceptionalism versus the radicalism of saul alinsky. he draws his from saul alinsky radical left wingers and people who don't like the classical america. he represents a big government saul alinsky radical vision of an american future. >> the values he believes in, the saul alinsky radicalism. >> if you are for european socialism and saul alinsky radicalism, you are with barack obama. >> saul alinsky was a community organizer who helped the poor and disenfranchised organize so they could better their lives. and he laid out this process in his most famous book "rules for
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radicals." the book was published in 1971 and alinsky died in 197. why is he in the political bloodstream now? melinda is a reporter for "the washington post" and ank thoers blog she the people. lynn sweet covers politics for the "chicago sun-times." i've been wanting to get this straight. william f. buckley, godfather to the conservative movement said alinsky is close to being an organizational genius. freedom work leader, the tea party group run by dick armey gives alinsky's book to its top leadership members to study. a spokesman for freedom works said his tactics when it comes to grassroots organizing are incredibly effective. this photo shows mitt romney's father meeting with saul alinsky two months after the detroit riots. in it, the elder romney is quoted as saying to his white allies, i think you ought to listen to alinsky. well, this is so fascinating. i always thought of alinsky as not a left wing zealot, zealous
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ideologue. help poor people organize so they could have a voice like the tea party does on the right. >> i think he was a leftist. he was influenced by the father of italian communism, but his goals and everything he laid out in this book "rules for radicals" really were to take the power away from the haves and give it to the have nots. the reason you hear conservatives who obviously studied this work very closely praising it is that it's so effective. what he says in these 13 rules that he lays out, he says ridicule is man's most potent weapon. you know, you don't hear barack obama using ridicule. you do hear newt gingrich using ridicule to pretty good effect.
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another one of his rules is a good strategy is a strategy your people enjoy, which you know, alinsky loved to have these big, outrageous demonstrations and tactics. one of his favorites was when he had people come and dump garbage on the property of someone who had not been -- an official in chicago who had not been responsive to garbage pick-up. is that barack obama? no. he does things like urge people to call their member of congress. again, when he says, i think alinsky's biggest rule, number 13, is to freeze it, polarize it, convince people that all the devils are on one side. all the angels are on the other. that's the exact opposite of barack obama. >> right. barack obama does not live in a world where all the other guys on the other side are bad guys and all the guys on his side are angels.
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lynn sweet, you cover chicago politics. i think melinda nailed it. the people who use alinsky's tough tactics of organization and politics are the right who make everybody on the left or center left evil. not just different in terms of their judgments. >> absolutely. i think newt, who says he's an historian, needs to do some more research. saul alinsky never wanted to overthrow the system. he wanted to change it so everybody had a fair shake. he didn't want to destroy the table. he wanted everybody to have a seat on it, chris. and that's what he did in his earliest days of organizing in chicago. >> i think he uses the word alinsky not -- it sounds like a jewish name, but he uses it to suggest trotsky. he sound like some commie. i think 90% -- or 99% of the
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people have no knowledge of the guy, but it sounds like trouble. >> i was just in south carolina, chris, and i did ask people because he had been using this. i was in his election night hotel. you did the bite from that. i said do you know who saul alinsky is? people don't. i want to add one more thing. i think organizing sounds like union. conservative candidates are not union friendly. that's another reason. i just want to point out that alinsky -- newt is more like alinsky right now than anyone else. anti-establishment, populist. >> let's watch him. lynn, here's your point made beautifully by newt himself. he trained his anger on the elites of washington and new york. a tactic alinsky would approve of. making the other side, the all-powerful evils. let's listen. >> so many people who are so concerned about jobs, about
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medical costs, about the everyday parts of life and who feel that the elites in washington and new york have no understanding, no care, no concern, no reliability, and in fact, do not represent them at all. >> melinda, you write about how alinsky's tactic was to rub raw the resentments of people disenfranchised. it sound like newt knows how to do it. >> exactly. in the beginning, you think, you know, what could be more elite than bringing up, as you say, the name of this obscure guy. saul alinsky. that somebody heard in a seminar. although, it's not new for a lot of conservatives to hear about saul alinsky because people like rush limbaugh and sean hannity have been talking about saul alinsky for a while. so people who are really into movement conservatism have heard this before. >> i put it right up with food stamp president. i'm much tougher than you guys.
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i think it's code -- >> it is code. >> it's a great use of ridicule, too. >> melinda, thank you. and -- we have to go. i'm sorry. melinda and lynn sweet. we can talk about saul alinsky forever. up next, how the fight on the right between newt gingrich and mitt romney is making barack obama stronger. i think we can agree on this one. tonight after the show, i will be signing copies of my book "jack kennedy: elusive hero" down here at the barns & noble. anybody can come. palm beach gardens, the barns & noble. this is "hardball" on msnbc. ee . today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: ee . bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf
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have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. president obama wrapped up his three-day post-state of the union swing in michigan today. he's polling strong in that state. let's go back to the scoreboard. according to the new "new detroit free press" poll, obama leads mitt romney by 8 points. the president inching his way towards 50% in that state. two months ago, his lead was
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together for your future. ♪ everybody here is only here because somebody somewhere down the road decided we're going to think not just about ourselves but about the future. now it's our turn to leave an america that's built to last. republicans may be battling it out for the nomination. but one person seemingly with the wind at his back is president obama. here he is in an interview last night with diane sawyer of abc. >> nine months, 11 days till election day. are you going to win? >> yes. >> how much do you want it? >> badly. because i think the country needs it. >> he's looking and feeling confident there just as he was in the state of the union address earlier this week. and speeches now across the country since then. can he keep his mo going through november?
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that's a hot question. patrick gaspard served as the white house political director. now with the dnc. as as executive director. ron is an author. patrick, we haven't had you on for a while, tell me about the president and when you begin long distance running the quick. has he gun tbegun the kick? >> we have a ways to go, has been a good week for our president. while newt gingrich has been orbiting the moon and mitt romney has been orbiting the truth. barack obama has been having an honest conversation about the economy we have to build, clean energy, enhancing the skills of our workers, and also reinstituting the basic sense of american value that if you work hard, play by the rules, you will get rewarded in the society and have economic security for time to come. it has been a good week, you saw the great energetic crowds in michigan, nevada.
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>> that is all official, patrick. that is all good i accept all that. what about you as a polite cal guy watching this thing. when you watch the debates the last couple weeks, what is your feelings when you watch the republican party, so many right wingers, so much rhetoric, over the top, what is that going to do to the voter, the independent voter come next fall? that kind of rhetoric we're getting, you heard about the moon, how does that affect the independent voter? >> chris, you ransom of the poll numbers earlier on the show. we see independents and moderates are fleeing from mitt romney as he's con torted himself to appeal to the extreme right wing of the tea party and we know with newt gingrich's talent for prophetication, this is divisiveness that is unappealing, when the lights come on and one of them emerges as the nominee, they will have a very very difficult time taking away from the promises and commitments they made to folks
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that want to drag us back to the policies that created the crisis we found ourselves in in 2008. >> i think that is well said. ron, my buddy, what i can't believe, i'm being rhetorical, i can't believe how romney when he did something decent in his life, voted for a soft spoken guy, like paul psongas who wanted to fix thing, fix the foreign policy, do the right thing at the cost of votes he got. with real guts, here this is guy walking away from that vote saying that was just a strategic vote to play monkey business, i didn't really like him. i heard the cock crow three times for this guy. >> he won't even stand up for his own health care plan. barack obama has stuff cutting against him, there is the economy of course, the incandescent hatred on the right, people would vote for
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himler over obama, but he has some things going for him, too. >> you will pay for that, ron. the tweeters are out now. >> if gingrich --. >> they hate him so much. >> never mind, they hate him so much, the economy is bad here what is he has going for him, romney and gingrich. does anybody watch the debates, either one of them belongs in the oval office? they have been diminishing themselves. gingrich is a joke. romney, mr. $57,000 a day man doesn't seem grateful, seems entitled. >> you wahe wants a tax break. we will be back, more from ron and patrick in a minute. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. a shadow of your former ? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies?
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whoever wins the republican primary is going to be a standard bearer for a vision of the country that i don't think reflects who we are. >> i think the american people will make a judgment about who is trying to bring the country together and who is dividing it. >> let me get back to ron reagan, i think the candidates especially the president are so well advised to do that kind of quiet interview rather than
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pounding of the lecturn. it comes across so well, doesn't he? >> he does. he comes across as he often does as the grown-up in the room. i know the republicans want to paint him as the difficult vice i have figure here, divisive, look at the candidates in the lead. what can be more difficuvisivfv that? >> i'll tee this up for you. the fact newt gingrich has done so well he may be out of this in two or three weeks, in it for a while now, the fact that he can sell as a front-runner, with the republican electorate tells you how angry they are, how over the top they are in their anger, to the point they can't think right. newt can't possibly be president. can he? by any standard. >> well, clearly, i expect barack obama will continue to be president after the november election, but let's be real with one another, chris. the fact that newt gingrich, rick santorum, michele bachmann,
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he hermam cain thought they were vietable. folks on that side realize not only is he disavowing what he did on health care, hasn't been truthful and trants parent about taxes. hasn't been truth on his record on women's right to choose. has been all over the place and extreme on immigration and i think there is an youauthentici gap that is making mitt romney difficult to close the deal. >> i don't think people believe ease a rig he is a right winger. people are believing he is a centerist. >> if i could go back to the question how the president looked in the interview, he looked thoughtful because he is thoughtful. a serious person, cares passionately, wants to do the right thing. >> we have plenty of of time for this between now and november. patrick come

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